The third-game goofs, egregious as they were, weren't the cause of the Dodgers' penultimate 7-2 loss. For all practical purposes, the Angelenos were goners when Starter Bob Welch was obliged to retire in the second inning after throwing only 31 pitches. The reason: bursitis in his left hip, an affliction that had troubled him since late last month. "He never feels it in warmups," said Dodger assistant trainer Paul Padilla, who examined Welch on the mound after he walked the first two hitters in the second. "It's that little extra he extends himself in a game." Welch's departure forced Lasorda to use Peña, whom he had intended to start on Saturday, in long relief. Peña, a reluctant reliever, was ineffective, partly because he said he'd thrown 100 pitches warming up in the bullpen during Game 2. Peña's successor, Rick Honeycutt, allowed two runs in only a third of an inning. Honeycutt, traded to the Dodgers in August from Texas, actually finished as the American League's ERA leader at 2.42. His earned run average for two playoff appearances was 21.60.
Lasorda felt he had no choice after the third-game loss but to come back with Reuss in Game 4, though he'd not started with three days' rest all season. Owens, for his part, benefited in the third game from a brilliant pitching effort by rookie Charles (Don't Call Me Charlie) Hudson, who pitched in A ball last year and was not promoted to Philadelphia from Triple A Portland until May 31 of this year. He finished the season at 8-8, but won five straight in one stretch and was within two outs of a no-hitter against Houston on July 20. Staked to a snappy 3-0 lead, Hudson hung a curveball to Marshall in the fourth, and Marshall belted it for a two-run homer.
After Hudson retired the side, he plopped down by himself on the dugout bench. John Denny, a nine-year veteran who had gone six innings in the loss to Valenzuela on Wednesday, soon joined him. "You're losing your concentration," Denny firmly advised the 24-year-old Hudson. "Stop throwing the slow-breaking pitch. You've got good motion on your slider today. Use it." "After that," said Hudson later, "I got it together." Indeed, the Dodgers didn't get another hit. Matthews did, countering Marshall's homer with one of his own leading off the Phillies' fourth. "It was the biggest hit of the series," said Schmidt, "coming right after their guy had given them a lift. It was demoralizing to them."
That night, Matthews and Morgan had dinner with an old pal, Dodger Dusty Baker, at Bookbinder's Restaurant on the Philadelphia waterfront. Matthews was relishing his big four-RBI day, and Baker, according to Matthews' wife, Pamela, "was always saying something to bring him back down." "Before the playoffs," Baker said later, "Gary and I talked about how we were going to do. I said I was going to be the hero, and he said he was. I lied. He didn't."
True. In Game 4 the Phillies never trailed after Matthews' epochal first-inning blast, and Schmidt chipped in with three hits, an RBI and three runs. Lezcano hit a two-run homer, and Rose, who went 6 for 16 in the series, had two hits. Carlton, suffering from stiffness in his lower back, went six innings before giving way, first to Ron Reed and finally to Holland. Reuss gave up five runs in four-plus innings. The Phillies had duplicated their 7-2 win of the day before.
There was the obligatory champagne squirt in the clubhouse afterward, and Owens embraced veteran players who only weeks earlier had felt their careers threatened by him. Pitcher Larry Andersen put on the rubber mask of an old man and slipped into one of Owens' uniform shirts, adding to the hilarity.
There was, of course, no dousing the spirits of the series' Most Valuable Player, Matthews. When Coach Bobby Wine interrupted one of Matthews' dissertations to the press with the admonition, "You can't stand here talking for four hours," Matthews had a quick retort. "Hell, I didn't play for three months," he said. "Let me talk." There was no question he had something to talk about.